Gina Carbonatto, a graduate of Lake Stevens High School, is an assistant coach for the University of Washington softball team. She has agreed to share her thoughts with Herald readers each day during the 2009 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Here’s what she had to say after the Huskies beat Florida Tuesday night to win a national title:
“Our coach, Heather Tarr, put it best when she said: ‘Are we in a dream?’
“That’s exactly how it feels right now, about an hour after the end of the championship game. We’ve been working all year for this. Now it’s ours, and no one can take it away from us for the rest of our lives. No matter what happens, we’ll always be able to say that in 2009 we were the best team in the United States.
“All day, the girls were walking around like they were going to win another blowout. They were having a good time, fooling around at lunch. They truly expected to win. They acted as if they were going to be the national champs.
“I’m sure there were some nerves, but we didn’t really talk about it. It was like we were icing the nerves. But we knew what was riding on the game.
“For whatever reason, we might’ve been a little tight in the first inning. But Florida came out and did a nice job; they put the ball in play and changed their approach at the plate. It’s their third time seeing our pitcher, Danielle Lawrie, this year. They looked at it like, she throws the ball 70 miles per hour, so if they can put a bat on it, they can hit some balls to the wall. And they did early on. But after that, she was lights out.
“The biggest thing was that double play at the end of the first. That kind of snapped us out of it, and then Ashley Charters, our leadoff hitter, got the offense going in the bottom of the inning. She’s been our sparkplug all year long, and she did it again.
“I don’t know what’s in store for the rest of the evening, but I’m sure there are things I won’t be able to talk about. All I knew is that we’re taking a charter flight home Tuesday, and then we’re going straight to a tattoo parlor. We made a promise to get something, probably something small. People want to show that we’re the first national champions in Washington softball history.
“I don’t know what I’m going to get, as far as the tattoo, but I’ll get something. I’ll probably draw something up on the plane ride home. Maybe something on the foot or ankle. I said I’d do it, so I guess I’m in now.”
Edited by Scott M. Johnson, Herald Writer